No matter how well a service is constructed, the occasional bug will surface from time to time. Sometimes, an issue is simply a perception or user error whereas other times, it is an ongoing issue. In this article, we identify and confront the top 5 Phone Power complaints from users of their VoIP phone services.
While the average user has a good overall experience, we have identified a few key Phone Power problem areas. Most of the complaints we cover are relatively small issues but frustrate those experiencing them. Keep in mind, Phone Power customer service has a good reputation so feel free to contact their technical support system in the event your problem falls outside the scope of this article.
1: Phone Power Voicemail
With the service, several different methods are available to access Voicemail. Users can access Phone Power Voicemail from the web or by using the phone connected to the service. The former is a relatively easy process where the user simply logs into their account and selects the VoiceMail tab on the main page however, the latter seems to be problematic for some users.
Initial Phone Power Voicemail Setup from a Physical Phone
With most devices connected to the adapter, configuration is quite simple. After initial service configuration, perform the following steps to easily access Voicemail recordings from your phone:
- Dial *21 to access your personal Voicemail from the device connected to the service.
- The default password is 1111. Enter this number then enter a new PIN when prompted.
- Follow through the remaining prompts to record a greeting for your callers.
Keep in mind, some devices may have trouble accessing the Voicemail menu with the above process. In these cases, dialing your Phone Power number then following certain prompts will allow you to access your Voicemail. Sometimes, this is necessary for the device connected to the adapter. If you find yourself in this position, try the following:
- Simply dial (818) 264-4370 (toll free number) to access your account from virtually anywhere.
In other situations, programming your number into your phone may be the easiest solution. This is essentially the same as speed dial for your handset.
- Depending on your phone, do a little research to find out where to go to plug in this information.
- Enter your phone number, an asterisk and then your PIN (e.g. 5551234567*1234) to quickly access Voicemail.
Note that it is also possible to configure Voicemail to Email. When logged into your web account, select the Service Settings tab followed by VoiceMail Settings. Under the Send Email dropdown, select On New VoiceMail then enter your email address. Check the box that reads Attach .WAV file to have an audio file sent to the email you provided earlier.
2: No Outbound/Inbound Service or One-way Audio
Although this is not one of the more common issues users experience, it is arguably one of the most frustrating. Some users complain of the following Phone Power issues.
- Cannot call certain area codes (e.g. local landlines, mobile numbers in a different area code, etc.)
- No incoming calls.
- One way audio - for example, the caller cannot hear the person on the other end of a completed call.
Unfortunately, most of these issues are not easily resolvable on the user end, if at all. In many cases, contacting tech support will be necessary to fix certain calling issues.
With that said, sometimes one-way audio can be fixed on the user end by modifying SIP ALG (and SPI) settings on a router or firewall. We produced a SIP ALG guide to help with such a task so it may be best to read the material before submitting a support ticket. In addition, some users have had issues with the analog phone connected to the Phone Power adapter, meaning a different phone may very well solve the problem. Another option that can help with troubleshooting these types of problems is by utilizing the Phone Power app on your cell phone. If making calls over your cellular service has no issues then this may point to your home set up as the culprit.
In the case of an inability to call certain numbers, this is often due to a routing issue on the Phone Power end where the call does not reach a certain destination due to a fault in the network infrastructure. When submitting a ticket, request a fixed route to solve the issue. Most users that have experienced this problem have cited this as being the resolution reached by technical support.
3: Phone Power App Crashing
At certain times, users may experience crashing with the mobile app or complete inability to launch the application. This generally happens to most users after a major system update. The best way to resolve this is to try the following.
- Update the application. Sometimes the app and upgraded phone OS do not mesh well until it is updated.
- Uninstall and reinstall the application. After certain system updates, the app simply will not update so it needs to be installed fresh. Remove the app, restart your phone then download and install the application again.
Certain ISPs and mobile service providers will prove to be problematic when using any kind of VoIP service, whether Phone Power or a competitor. Refer to the link above about resolving SIP ALG issues.
Some cellular service providers will have issues sending such traffic (or block it altogether.) In these cases, you may need to tweak some other settings - for example, transport over TCP instead of UDP - or consult tech support from your cell provider.
4: Using a Third Party Softphone
Some may choose to use the service with a softphone such as ZoiPer or Bria rather than the actual Phone Power application. This is useful if you have grown accustomed to one of these applications or if you have multiple registrations with different service providers.
- Login to your account and select the Modify Services button.
- Find the SIP Credentials button and click to continue.
- Select the Enable SIP Credentials on this page to register from third party applications.
This will allow the use of third party softphones for mobile devices and various client for different computer operating systems. However, there are a few stipulations to keep in mind.
- You are allowed a maximum of 4 registered devices from a non-managed device (i.e. a physical phone not connected to the Phone Power Adapter or any third party phone clients.)
- A maximum of 2 concurrent calls are possible - any additional incoming calls will route directly to voicemail and outbound calls will be blocked.
- Registration intervals are recommended at 4 hours and can be no less than 1 hour. For example, if using ZoiPer, which registers 10% faster than the defined interval, it is important to modify registration expiry values or service could become completely disrupted.
5: Using an Obihai Device with Phone Power
The OBi device family from Obihai features neat gadgets for interfacing with certain VoIP providers. They can be a little more difficult to configure to work with a hosted VoIP provider but not as time consuming as many full-fledged PBX systems. Phone Power is a compatible provider with OBi devices - check out our review and configuration guide for the OBi200 model.
One of the two issues that seem to surface with the Phone Power ObiHai combination relate to Google Voice. If you still use the mailbox as some choose, you can port your number to Phone Power and continue using your service.
With that said, it may be best to simply spoof your number as you may not want to completely relinquish a Google Voice number. In this case, add the service to your device (use the link above for configuration help) but do not fully port the number. If you truly want to port your number, first unlock your Google Voice number then continue with a number port to Phone Power.
Most one-way issues are due to the same issues mentioned above regarding SIP ALG, simply follow the link above for information on how to work with (or rather, around) SIP ALG. Also, make sure to follow the configuration directions in the referenced OBi200 guide as several ports should be opened for service to function properly.
Note that some of the newest ISP issued modems (namely, AT&T and Xfinity) have a field to define the kind of service connecting to a port when configuring port forwarding. Select anything that does not resemble VoIP or Internet Telephony, as this may mean that SIP ALG is NOT put into effect.
If you are considering a different adapter to replace an Obi device, you can easily evaluate different options by visiting our comparison guide to VoIP phone adapters.
Every provider in the communication market will experience some service hiccups from time to time. These can be actual faults with service but more commonly, problems arise because a devil lurks in the details.
We hope this article proves to be useful with resolving common Phone Power problems and we understand that other issues may fall outside the ones touched on here. As mentioned in the beginning of the article, customer service has a good reputation and you can start by checking their knowledge base and/or open a ticket if a problem persists. Please comment below with any questions or with any issues you have experienced and what steps you took to resolve the problem.